9/11: What Could have Been?
I hesitate to even write anything about 9/11. I had wanted to write this in time for the actual anniversary however it felt a bit raw writing it during the lead up to that day. For some people this is being taught as history. For those of us from the area where it happened, we lived through it every day for months. It is as real to us today as the weather report. Loved ones and friends and first responders are still passing away daily from the effects of that day. It is a hard truth and reality that people from our section of the United States live with every day.
What could have been? This is such a large topic it is almost too much to unpack. We could look at simple factors such as what if the buildings hadn’t collapsed? The obvious answer is the death toll would not have been so high. What if United 93 had either been taken over by the heroic passengers or if it had hit its target? What if a hijacker had been spotted in security and had alerted the rest of the country to the imminent danger? What if the United States had taken seriously the threat Bin Laden posed? What if the EPA hadn’t lied about the air quality in the aftermath of the tower’s collapsing?
What if the United States had followed through on their promises to the Afghanistan Freedom Fighters after they won their war against the Soviet’s, a war financed by America and with American training & weapons? Would Al-Qaeda even have existed?
This one single day feels as if any one event could have changed the outcome and the course of history. Any one thing could have saved countless lives not only on that day but in the subsequent War on Terror, entering its 18th year. All one has to do is look at history and they will find countless events where one small change could have large consequences.
Instead of diving into the possible differences in the world from this fateful day, I will instead leave it to you, the reader, to reflect on that day and how different things could have been if any number of things had been different.
My favorite question regarding this day is this: What if 9/11 had simply been another sunny September Tuesday?